Welcome to the Guide on Building a Home Bar

Building a home bar is not for everybody. You need to have well developed carpentry skills as well as the necessary tools before you embark on a task like this.

So, if you don’t have the skills yet, we suggest you hone your skills on something simpler, like the first bar stool for your bar. If you don’t have any tools, well, prepare to fork out a healthy amount as tool are pretty expensive and might cost more than just having the bar built for you.

If you are satisfied your skills are up to scratch and you have the necessary tools for the job, good.

Learn to build your own DIY tiki home bar.

All and all, building a home bar should be a simple project – depending on how complicated you want to go and how experienced you are with building things. The satisfaction and gratification of competing it, is fantastic.

We suggest you have a look at our Home Bar Design Guide for more tips tips and advice.


You will firstly need to design the bar to determine the shape and size. Make a list of all the items you want to build into your bar like

Ø a fridge

Ø a beer cooling and dispenser system

Ø shelves

Ø glass holders

Ø sink

Ø sound system and

Ø lights

If you struggle with drawing plans for your bar, you can find numerous plans on line at reasonable costs. Most plans come with detailed illustrations of the bar and material required. It is advisable to go for a tried and tested plan that you can buy because you can be quite sure the plan works and the finished product will be solid and practical.


Next will be choosing the materials to do it in. Wood is of course a common choice, but there are MANY other types of material available to work with, like superwood, formica, granite, marble, and so the list goes on. Selecting the material is potentially one of the most difficult parts of the job. Spend some time researching and selecting the right materials.

If you plan to use material other than wood – like granite tops – look around in your area for suppliers you can make required items to the size specified by you. They will usually require sketch plans and measurements to make what you require to the correct size. Be sure to shop around to find the best prices and don’t hesitate to haggle.

Make sure to discuss your ideas with suppliers because they might give advice or have requirements which you are not aware of. For example, some granite suppliers might require you to fix a steel plate between the base wall and the granite top. The plate is screwed to the wall and the granite is then fixed to the steel with silicone or epoxy. This ensures the top is fixed more solidly and help prevent the stone from cracking when leaned on.


Well planned lighting is absolutely crucial. As for materials there are many options from small fairly and down lights to lights hanging or suspended from the ceiling. It is advisable to install dimmers for all the lights in the bar and let them switch independently so that you have many options with lighting to experiment with.

Visit a number of lighting show rooms and suppliers specializing in lighting for bars (see the Yellow Pages or Internet). They will be able to give good suggestions and might have examples in their show rooms or pictures of project they have done.

As with materials, it is important to do thorough research before making your selection of lights.


Bear in mind that the base of the bar needs to support it self – not tip over - as a well as a heavy counter top. A U-shaped bar is normally the most steady, followed by an L-shape and a straight. A base wall of bricks and mortar is more stable than one made of wood, so we suggest you use bricks for this.

Plan where the fridge, electrical appliances and sink will be and make the necessary extensions for the electricity, gas and water supplies as required. Don’t forget the drain outlet for the sink.

It is critical that you centre the counter top on the base and fix it securely (use silicone or metal brackets or both) to prevent it from tipping, especially for when big guys with big beers leaning on the bar.


The length and width of the bar will depend on where you build it.

The height of the counter top should be between 1.1 m (43”) and 1.2m (47m).

The overhang should be between 30 cm (12”) and 40 cm (15”) if you are having bar stools to allow for a comfortable seating position. If there will be no bar stools or you need to save on space, a narrower overhang (15 cm or 6”) should work fine. Just remember that you might want to add stools at a later stage, so think carefully before you go for a narrow overhang.

All that’s left to say is HAPPY BUILDING!

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